The letters in this book are from Edward F. Wilson to a number of different people, including church staff and officials, Indian Agents, Government officials, donors, Shingwauk and Wawanosh staff, his family, and Indigenous community members.
The majority of the letters relate either to Diocesan activities or the finances of Shingwauk and Wawanosh. Wilson acted as the Bishop’s commissary while the Bishop was away in England, and so performed many of his duties, including the appointment of a day school teacher at Garden River, and the appointment of ministers in various locations around the Diocese.
During these years a sash and door factory was opened and staffed by the boys, and it took orders for work from outside the school which often created a lot of issues. Although the building of the Bishop Fauquier Memorial Chapel was complete, there were a lot of problems with the donation of the stained glass windows, as well as funding for furnishing the chapel.
Near the end are many letters where Wilson discusses his personal feelings about the job and mulls over the possibility of leaving his position as principal. Student activities, student recruitment and retention, school staffing, and school supplies are also frequent topics.
The North-West Rebellion took place in 1885 near the end of the letter book, and Wilson wrote a number of letters detailing his opinions on the rebellion, the situation of Indigenous communities out West, and about his plans to build a new Residential School out West as a solution.
Anishinaabemowin letters are on pages: 270-271
Subjects covered include: Algoma Missionary News, Anishinaabemowin, apprenticeship, Bishop Fauquier Memorial Chapel, bootmaking, carpentry, church societies, college, curriculum, Department of Indian Affairs, Diocese of Algoma activities, donations, farming, finances, funding, funding problems, fundraising, government contacts, government funding, government policy, Indian Agents, Indigenous communities, Indigenous languages, insurance, ministry, missionary work, Mohawk Institute, Muncey Institute, North-West Rebellion, North West Resistance, Ojibwe language, printing, public opinion, publications, religion, religious rivalries, runaway students, sash and door factory, school inspections, school reports, school supplies, staffing, student activities, student clothing, student death, student families, student health, student occupation, student recruitment, student retention, student support, tailoring, teaching, tinsmithing, trades, Wawanosh Home for Girls